This column is only for women. Really? Of course it’s not just for women! In fact, men might just be curious about what I think women need to do to be successful in sales.
Stop looking to put people into categories.
You have prospects and customers in sales. Do you really think a woman buyer will buy from you just because you are female? It’s like the old trope that people buy from people they like. Sure they do, but that isn’t the only reason they buy. I would suggest that being liked isn’t even the first reason why prospects buy.
Your prospects buy from you because you solve a problem for them. A problem might be reducing some of their costs or avoiding costs. It’s almost an instant sale when your prospect would make money if he buys your product or service.
Women buyers are no different than men in their need to justify their purchases. You will make the sale when you justify why your buyer should buy from you instead of from your competition.
Don’t be a victim.
If there’s anything a manager hates more it is someone who constantly comes with problems and complains. That’s what victims do. They talk about how hard sales is and all the obstacles they have in front of them. Stop complaining!
Selling is a tough job. Sometimes it’s not even fair. Get over it and start figuring out the best way you can deal with tough competitors, people with more experience than you or better connections and knowledge. Yes, it sounds like you might have to work harder and smarter than others. Most successful women (and men) do. (That’s what makes them successful.)
You may have legitimate challenges in sales and need your manager’s input. Ask for input on the options you give. Note that you come to the meeting prepared with options and ask for an opinion on the best option to take. No manager has the time today to problem solve for you. You’ve got to present those solutions with perhaps one you are leaning towards. You are a problem solver, not a victim, when you come to the meeting with options.
I am a firm believer that the more supporters you have in business, the more likely you will be successful. It’s the same way with prospects buying from you.
Think of how many supporters you have at your prospect. Is it 3 by 3? This means you know 3 people at the level of the sale and 3 people one level up and 3 people one level down. You may not get to that number, but the more people you do have as supporters at your prospect, the stronger your selling proposition is.
Do these strategies sound like they only apply to women? Of course not. Both men and women are successful in sales. It’s the salespeople with this gender neutral thinking that make the most successful salespeople.